CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears throws a pass against the New York Jets rushes at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Mike Martz has his offense finally peaking. It would have been great if they were peaking before the bye week, but with a playoff berth and a 1st round bye clinched, the Bears offense has peaked at a good time that makes them dangerous moving forward. There have been some good offensive games this season, but this past Sunday might have been the best because it defined what Martz's version of the Don Coryell offense is all about, which is big plays downfield.
It seems opposing teams have adjusted to the quick pick and stick throws, and Jay has noticed that. His solution last Sunday was that he believed with the Jets playing a lot of cover-1 with press coverage that his receivers could get off the jam and get open downfield. The receivers did - and Jay did a good job delivering them the football downfield. It was encouraging seeing receivers Devin Hester and Johnny Knox do a great job attacking the football while in the air, and not being too dependent on Jay to deliver the ball perfectly to them. They both have been criticized for not fighting for the ball, but both guys did a great job shielding the defender with their body while still being in position to make a play on the ball.
Last week's WCG Key Match-Up focused on Jay Cutler and how he will attack Darrell Revis. As I expected, they gave Revis the assignment on Devin Hester and Bennett. Both receivers had minimal success against Revis, but he was able to exploit the other man to man assignments the Jets threw at him. For that I will give him an overall A- grade for his performance last Sunday.
Best Play of the game: Jay Cutler's 26 yard touchdown pass to Johnny Knox
I'm sure this was most fans' favorite play of the game because it was just a perfectly thrown ball and Johnny Knox played the ball well. I've been a harsh critic of Knox, but only because I feel that he can be a pretty good receiver in this league if he can learn how to shield defenders with his body and make tough catches. It looks like he has turned the corner with his play last Sunday. For Jay, the play showed what happens when Jay has time to set his feet and step into his throw, even against a pretty good man to man cover guy in Antonio Cromartie.
Worst Play of the game: Jay Cutler's pick 6 to Dwight Lowery
It was a forced throw by Cutler on an attempted out route to Earl Bennett. It looks as if the ball floated on Jay at first, but he actually leaves some off it. When running that type of play, the QB has to put a lot on the ball and the receiver needs to shield the defender and not let him back into the play. This play was on Jay because Bennett wasn't as open on that play as Lowery was in zone and baiting Jay to throw that football.